In the nineteenth century the new year in Cornwall was as quiet as it was this year. Our forebears did little, if anything, to celebrate the new year, which was a working day like every other. The Royal Cornwall Gazette’s brief reports of the new year period in 1860/61 indicate little out of the ordinary. … Continue reading New Year – all quiet
In the later 1700s, if you were convicted of a serious, or even not very serious, crime, you could face transportation to a British colony, that is if you managed to avoid the death sentence. Before 1777 convicts were taken to North America. After that point this option became unavailable. But there was an alternative … Continue reading Mary Bryant’s story
Those were the days. Now Cornwall only has a feeble voice in the UK Parliament, represented by just six MPs. But before 1821 Cornwall enjoyed a representation more fitting its status, sending 44 MPs. With around 1.5% of the population it had 7-8% of parliamentary representatives. Why? In the 1500s Cornwall was not that exceptional. … Continue reading Why did Cornwall have 44 MPs?
Celia Fiennes journeyed through Cornwall on horseback in 1698. In her journal she provided brief accounts of some of the towns she saw. Having endured an hour-long crossing of the Tamar on the Cremyll ferry, she took the southern route to the west. She seems to have been most impressed, and a little scared, by … Continue reading Cornish towns in 1698